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Hawai‘i’s idol returns

Jordan Segundo, headlining vocalist for the Super American Circus

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In 2003, 17-year-old Jordan Segundo was a high school student when he became Hawai‘i’s first ever finalist on the singing competition show American Idol. 

Though his departure on the show came early, his journey into the world of broadcast television was far from over. A journey that, Segundo says, began in his early childhood.

As a child, Segundo dreamed to pursue a career in entertainment.

“Overall, my career plan was more focused on singing, but I still did commercials and plays,” Segundo said. “Anything entertainment based was what I know I wanted to do.” 

After American Idol, Segundo took up hosting work. 

Segundo began reporting news relating to teenagers at KHON2 before moving on to sports. He eventually became an “entertainment correspondent” for “Living808,” the station’s lifestyle show. Using his experience on American Idol, Segundo held his own weekly, on-air segment called Idol Chatter from 2004-2015, recapping recent episodes of American Idol and providing his own commentary. His correspondent work at KHON2 would later spark his decision to take on broadcast news as a full-time career. 

“After singing and performing a lot, I thought ‘I have friends in the news industry,’ and it was something I was really interested in,” Segundo said. 

In his late 20s, Segundo made the decision to go back to school and enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to pursue a degree in journalism. 

“I think coming back later, I had more of a focus,” Segundo said. “I knew I was here and that I had to get the work done.” 

Along with his brother, Segundo was one of the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college. It was in his last semester in 2016 that Segundo was given an offer to join the KITV4 news team.

From 2016 to late 2018, Segundo was an on-air reporter and weather anchor for KITV4 news.

“I went on the Hurricane Hunter helicopter with the Airforce for work, tracked hurricanes, on top of all sorts of fun stuff,” Segundo said. 

After years of work at news stations in Hawai‘i, Segundo made the decision to pack up and continue his broadcast news career off island. 

“I knew working here in news in Hawai‘i that my main goal was to head off to the mainland,” Segundo said. “Born and raised in the islands, it’s always gonna be home, but I knew that if I wanted to grow in the news industry, it would have to be outside Hawai‘i.” 

Segundo went on to put together a demo reel of previous stories he had reported on as a resume of sorts. Soon after, Segundo and his manager were contacted by a news team in Sacramento, asking if Segundo was interested in a position. 

“After looking at all the details and what it offered,” Segundo said, “I thought it was the perfect fit.”

This year, Segundo joined the CBS Corporation in Sacramento, California. He is currently the weather anchor for the CBS13 Morning News and an anchor/reporter for Good Day Sacramento. 

“They’ve been so open to my passions,” Segundo said about his work at Good Day Sacramento. “I do a segment with them called ‘Aloha Friday,’ where I teach them Hawaiian words and things about Hawai‘i. That’s what I think makes this job so different and unique.”

When asked about his future prospects, Segundo was unsure, knowing only that his career would continue to take him places. 

“Being in news, a lot of times you don’t stay in one place for very long,” Segundo said. “For me, I hope to keep on growing and whether it keeps me in California or maybe on the East Coast, I just want to keep working up and working in bigger markets.” 

Segundo also expressed the desire to continue on with his music career, stating that it will always be a part of what he does and “could always happen.”

And it is his passion for music that brought him back to O‘ahu. 

From March 29 to 31, Segundo will be the headlining vocalist for the Super American Circus’ O‘ahu show. 

Lending his vocal talents to aerialists David and Angela Saucedo, Segundo will be performing songs from the movie “The Greatest Showman” while David and Angela perform on aerial silks. 

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the show with artists from around the world,” Segundo said.

Over the course of his career, Segundo’s extensive list of credits and awards has continued to grow. The most recognizable, according to him, was being the first singer from Hawai‘i to make it to the semi-final rounds on American Idol. 

Segundo recounted getting his degree as another of his greatest accomplishments.

“No one can take it away from me. I studied hard and stayed up for countless hours,” he said. “Now that I get to live in California and pursue that aspect of my career, that’s something I’m also really proud of.”

His success, however, never came easy. “There’s been a lot of disappointments and a lot of times when I wondered if I did the right thing,” Segundo said. “Maybe a gig didn’t go through or I didn’t get a job that I tried out for. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I didn’t go there because another door is opening up. For me, having that perspective allows me, when things are finally happening, to be like ‘Okay, yeah, it was right.’”

Segundo went on to say that disappointment is just something to learn from, to “feel that emotion,” move forward and strive for the next opportunity.

For people who are interested in or are pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, Segundo stresses the importance of hard work, staying focused and surrounding yourself with the right people. 

“I’m a boy from Kalihi who’s had dreams and I still have big dreams,” Segundo said. “It just takes a lot of work, patience and a belief.”